Watsonville Police lead Javier Solis, 30, from a home on Stewart Avenue Thursday afternoon following a vehicle pursuit. After the vehicle pursuit, Solis allegedly took off on foot and burst into a home where a young woman was sleeping. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)
WATSONVILLE — A Watsonville man was arrested at gunpoint Thursday afternoon at a Stewart Avenue apartment complex after he hid in an apartment where a 17-year-old girl was home alone sleeping.
Javier Solis, 29, was found hiding in the master bedroom of the apartment after several armed officers broke down the door with a battering ram and entered with a police canine.
Dozens of residents watched the arrest from inside a nearby community center.
The girl had come home from school and didn’t lock the door, she said.
She said she was awakened when the officers stormed the apartment, said she had no idea Solis was inside the apartment.
She said the suspect changed into her father’s clothes when he was hiding.
The Register-Pajaronian is not naming her because she is the victim of a crime.
“I was scared,” she said. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”
The girl’s younger sister said Solis lives in a nearby apartment, and that she often hears arguments there.
Solis was one of two suspects who were arrested. The second, a 22-year-old man identified only as Jose, was arrested in a trailer in the mobile home park at 1954 Freedom Boulevard.
Solis had recently been released from prison under Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison realignment program, according to Watsonville Police Lt. Mike Ridgway.
“We consider him a dangerous individual,” he said.
According to police, a Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force sergeant saw Solis outside the Day's Inn hotel on Beach Street approximately 3:30 p.m. along with a male and a female.
The Sergeant knew Solis was wanted for a probation violation and attempted to stop his black BMW 325.
Solis sped off at speeds up to 80 miles per hour east on South Green Valley Road, then turned on Carey Avenue, Roache Road and then south on Freedom Boulevard.
At some point the BMW hit a bus, according to emergency dispatchers.
The driver turned into the Freedom Mobile Home Park past where children were playing, through the complex and crashed into a wooden fence.
Officers quickly caught the female passenger in a nearby trailer. She was determined not to have any criminal liability and released. The male passenger eluded officers and was not found. The Register-Pajaronian incorrectly reported Thursday that he was captured.
Solis jumped over the fence and fled into the Vista Verde apartment complex on Stewart Avenue, and a resident saw him enter the girl’s apartment.
Officers found items of clothing that Solis had been wearing and discarded in the house. They also found a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, bullets, and ammunition magazine. The pistol was reported stolen out of Salinas on September 24, police said.
Solis was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on charges of felony evading, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property, burglary, and a probation violation.
He was in custody on $25,000 bail.
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